Mabo decision: the dirty secret

“O foolish people, which have eyes, and see not”. Jeremiah 5:21

Tonight, ABC Four Corners is celebrating the 20th anniversary of the High Court’s Mabo decision.

Whilst the impression given from the promos for this programme suggest that this momentous decision is a most wonderful moral breakthrough for Aboriginal people, we won’t be expecting from the ABC to put two and two together to explain why the land policies of the last two decades have produced the most poverty striken, abject and depraved social groupings in the history of our country.

No account will be given of the utter failure of legislation that followed the Mabo decision that has systematically denied “individual property rights, democratic voting rights and civil society rules that make the rest of Australia one of the world’s most liveable countries.”

 It is understandable that governments do not highlight their failure to deliver equal rights on indigenous land. It is surprising, however, that the many organisations which claim to support Aborigines and Torres Strait Islanders go along with withholding fundamental rights without protest. It is as though they still do not believe that indigenous people should really own land.

Despite the success of indigenous Australians in mainstream society, on indigenous lands governments persist in denying residents the rights to private housing, to be responsible for their property and to have local government with resources and probity. Reconciliation, “partnerships”, “engagement”, “consultation” and wasteful public expenditures are the smokescreens behind which discrimination hides.

This article is a devastator, and should be read widely by anyone indignant about the lack of progress in Aboriginal living conditions.

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